Following the release of their domestic feline-themed avatars, DERP moved their attention to a domestic canines. The main avatar is the Malamute; a pretty close relative of a husky. This avatar is easily the most advanced of DERP offerings to this point. There is also a range of other domestic canines available based on the malamute build; we’ll be discussing those in a secondary “DERP Dogs” review.
Out of the Box:
|Features||Permissions and Statistics|
Skin and Construction:
- The skin for the malamute avatars is a little stronger than that of their DERP cat’s, with an ample amount of drawn fur over areas like the back or along the hips. The transitions between colours are neatly done, giving a good degree of emulation of actual malamute fur. We’re particularly delighted to point out that DERP has completely eliminated their belly-lines that used to be a problem on earlier avatars. Otherwise, there is also a good amount of shading over lighter areas of the avatar. The female skin has a bit of shading focus on the breasts, while males have a generally softer physique.
- The sculpts for this avatar are clean and the contours or edges are nice and sharp. You will not find any noticeable amounts of wrinkling on the avatar.
- The way that this avatar was constructed also reduces the amount of creasing between prims. The only fairly noticeable crease is the one between the main head-prim, and the muzzle.
- All in all, the avatar’s texturing, sculpt-quality, and construction technique are suitably well done and come together neatly.
- The lower limb attachments come in two forms; with invisiprims and without invisiprims. The avatar also comes with an alpha layer. As such, users can choose which type of attachments they want, then delete the alternate form. The alpha layer options is far more attractive than the invisiprim alternatives.
- The feet and legs together form a digitigrade limb. neatly. The feet themselves are 4-toed dog paws with slightly sharp, very noticeable claws. The structure of the foot is very articulate, showing off the details of the paws, the individual toes and the pawpads neatly. The digitigrade legs smoothen the transition from the prim feet to the shape legs decently, though a criticism would have to be that depending on the angle, the digitigrade legs look comparatively thin and small compared to the rest of the body. A slight bit more proportionality would have given the legs a little bit more aesthetic value.
- The tail reveals itself to be an interesting part of the avatar; quickly establishing it as one of the curliest tails we’ve reviewed yet. The tail itself is sculpted and can wag back and forth. This tail is a highlight of the avatar, and with the added touch of the flexible prim fluff, a good accent point for the entire look.
- The hand-paws for this avatar are a cross between hand and paw, but with 4 fingers and sharp claws on the end of each digit. The structure of the hand-paw allows for the addition of soft, pink-black paw-pads on the underside. These paws are best worn with the alpha layers, though; there is no invisiprim-fitted versions of the paws. Something new about the way DERP has constructed their hand attachments is how they’ve included a sculpted wrist to the paw. This does help the transition between hand and the paw some, without needing an actual wrist prim at all.
- The last attachments included are the fluff around the neck; attached to the chest and spine attachment points.
- A major part of this avatar is the eyes, of which there are two different choices in eyeball prims; small pupils, or large pupils. Both options utilise the tri-colour selection HUD. Some may prefer one type of pupil over the other, but what we can say for both is that the textures are extremely clear, rather than murky. The Large Pupils have a more direct stare, but the Small Pupil version could have used a little bit more alignment to avoid a lazy-eye look.
- The eyelids for this avatar a bit pronounced, giving the face a bit of a heavy-lidded, just-slightly bored look.
- For the first time, DERP has included a bit more versatility in facial expression. The default facial expressions (i.e. Neutral, Suprised, Mad and Quizzical) are all quite visible and were executed well. In addition to the eyebrow positions, users have muzzle expressions (i.e. Default, Smile, Snarl, Angry), which effectively quadruple the number of expressions users can make. This way, users are able to add a touch more personal character to their avatar, and certain combos (surprised + smile) give the avatar a bit of liveliness.
- The interior of the muzzle is well detailed, and outfitted with a full compliment of canine-looking teeth. The skin inside the mouth is convincing, and users are able to stick a detailed tongue out for fun. Additionally, a ‘panting’ gesture is included, where the malamute appears to pant.
- Overall, the head is suitably well made. The textures give the face a soft appearance and make the head look fur-covered. The muzzle could have been a bit longer and thicker to more accurately portray a malamute, but with a slightly more generic muzzle, the DERP Malamute is very capable of becoming other species of domestic canine as you will see in the DERP Dogs Review (Click here for that Review)
- We’ll point out that the avatar comes with both a male and a female hair; each of them well executed. Users are able to change the hair-colour through the click-dialogue.
Features and Heads-Up Display (HUD):
- This avatar is completely controlled by its HUD, which maintains the simple, user-friendly interface that DERP has employed in their last few avatars. The photo above shows both the Control HUD and the Eye-Colour HUD.
- This avatar comes as modifiable and copiable, so customisation is fairly easy. The head-size is small, but the shape of the head may mean that some third party hairs will need a little editing.
The DERP Malamute is quite the interesting avatar. As we’ve mentioned, it’s the most advanced we’ve seen in terms of features from DERP; including both the ability for this avatar to pant, and controls over muzzle expressions. The result has been an avatar that combines the unique style of DERP’s with a bit more attitude and personality. We had mentioned that the head alone may not ‘channel’ Malamute as strongly as it could, but if you read the DERP Dogs review, you can see how many breeds of domestic canine have been based on this head and succeed. Altogether, however, the avatar does hold its own within the family of curly-tailed canine avatars in Second Life.